PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon election officials are taking a proactive approach to securing upcoming contests throughout the state.
A team of county, state and federal organizations have partnered to protect future elections from any type of tampering. The partnership has grown over the past three years following the foreign interference in the 2016 elections.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Billy J. Williams believes the “fundamental right” of having citizens’ vote count has been threatened and therefore continued monitoring is essential.
Williams, along with the FBI’s Renn Cannon and Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, held a conference Tuesday to discuss the process for educating election officials and candidates about how to mitigate threats as well as identify weaknesses in the election systems.
“What’s new here is the growing sophistication of the hacks,” said Cannon. He added that the days of an email with obvious misspellings and a ridiculous premise are dated. Technological threats are now more difficult to detect, he said.
Though Cannon and the FBI have implemented new tactics to counter the complex new threats, some responsibility does still fall on the voter. Director of the Oregon Elections Division of the Secretary of State, Steve Trout, said staying informed helps preserve and protect our democracy.
“We have to make sure that we don’t fall victim to misinformation,” said Trout.
Election experts say the state’s mail-in ballot system is less vulnerable to hacks and crashes than digital voting systems.
The Iowa Democratic Party remains on the hot seat after it said an app created to compile and report caucus results malfunctioned due to a “coding issue,” delaying the count of Monday’s Democratic caucuses. The party says there are no signs of hacking or other intrusion and that the underlying data is “sound.” The problem was that the app only reported partial data when the precinct chairs sent the information to party headquarters.
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